Tuesday, October 28, 2008
THE NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ON NOV 8 2008 SHOULD BE A PHOTO FINISH...
The New Zealand parliamentary elections on Nov 8 2008 should be a photo finish.
The social democratic Labour Party are seeking their fourth 3 year term. They will be supported by another left of centre party, the Greens, and one or two other minor parties. The right of centre National Party opposition doesn't have too many options on the right of the spectrum. The ethnic Maori Party could be the kingmakers depending on how many Maori seats they hold; they have four of seven at present with the Labour Party holding three.
NZ has an MMP proportional electoral system - mixed member proportional. Half of the 120 seats are electorate and the other half party based on the percentage of votes the party has won. If a party wins more than their percentage dictates, that becomes an overhang and extra seats added to parliament.
The Labour Party has been a minority government supported by other parties whenever necessary.
There is about ten days to the election day; the polls are erratic and falsely representative. The National Party could win the most seats but not enough to form a government. The Labour Party could have less seats but form a government with the support of the Greens and other minor parties. That is the European style of proportional representatiion; something New Zealand voters have to accept, whether they like the results or not.